Greystone Capital, Black Bear Form JV to Target Pennsylvania Deals

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Greystone Capital and Black Bear Asset Management (BBAM) are forming a joint venture partnership with plans to invest up to $150 million in multifamily and industrial properties throughout Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, Commercial Observer has learned.

The JV will involve BBAM focusing on investing on the capital side, while Greystone Capital will act as the property developer and operator along with providing financing on future deals. (Greystone Capital is not affiliated with Greystone Capital Advisors.) 

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“Black Bear Asset Management is an outstanding investment partner,” Lou Pektor, president of Greystone Capital, said in a statement.  “We have assembled an extremely high-quality portfolio of projects together across the Lehigh Valley in a very short period of time.”

Through the JV, BBAM recently acquired Polk on Third, a $14 million mixed-use property in Bethlehem, Pa. near Lehigh University. This transaction marked the firm’s second investment with Greystone Capital in recent months and will result in a 50 percent common equity interest in the property with Greystone owning the balance of it. 

Black Bear Capital Partners (BBCP), a subsidiary of BBAM, also acted in an advisory capacity for the Bethlehem project at 310-322 East 3rd Street in placing a 10-year $10.4 million loan with Kearny Bank at a fixed rate of 3.25 percent. Emil DePasquale of BBCP arranged the transaction. 

“We are pleased to make a second investment with Greystone Capital,” Bryan Manz, senior managing director at BBAM, said in a statement. “The Lehigh Valley is a rapidly growing market and we are delighted to be a part of it via our relationship with Greystone and their portfolio of properties across multiple asset classes.”

Adjacent to Polk on Third, Greystone Capital is planning to build a seven-story mixed-use property featuring two floors of retail and 80 apartments. Pektor is in negotiations with two high-end restaurateurs to occupy the first and second floors of the retail space.

In December 2021, BBAM also acquired Sullivan Parke, a $25 million luxury multifamily development in Easton, Pa., slated to open this summer. Pektor is leading the project near Lafayette College that will consist of four apartment buildings with 102 units.

“Greystone Capital has a demonstrated track record of sourcing and executing on differentiated multifamily and industrial assets in Lehigh Valley,” Manz said. “Investing in the right markets with top-tier developers like Greystone has been and will continue to be a key part of our growth.”

Bethlehem-based-based Greystone Capital is also forming plans for two future development sites in Bethlehem and Easton totaling $30 million located in opportunity zones where BBAM will invest equity as part of the new JV. 

Pektor noted that the proximity to Lehigh University and Lafayette College provides great potential for all planned projects under the JV.

“We are really trying to push the market to a high-end, higher quality product,” Pektor said. “We’ve learned that students, graduate students and staff people will pay for high-quality units and they will pay to be close to convenience.”

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com